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Staff Reviews

Cain Daytona 550 Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Today, I’m reviewing Cain Daytona in a classic 5 x 50 Robusto, aptly named the 550. Cain is no stranger to the upper brackets of our weekly sales charts. The brand has everything going for it. It’s handmade in Estelí, Nicaragua, by one of the top premium cigar-making companies in the world: Oliva Cigars. As demand for stronger cigars continues to grow, Cain measures up with a portfolio best known for its potent and peppery taste. And best of all, Cain is king when it comes to value. Cain cigars are eligible for some of the most aggressive discounts we offer, period.

Fans of Nicaraguan cigars who’ve been smoking for a while may be familiar with the nation’s three major tobacco-growing regions: Estelí, Jalapa, and Condega. What makes Cain Daytona unique is that all of its tobaccos – binder, filler, and wrapper – are grown in Jalapa. Situated in the north of Nicaragua near the border with Honduras, the higher elevation and drier climate of Jalapa yields a thinner, more elegant tobacco. Jalapa is the region best suited for growing wrapper in Nicaragua.

Like other blends in the Cain portfolio, Daytona is drawn from a vibrant recipe of spicy Ligero tobaccos. Ligero leaves are harvested from the upper section of a tobacco plant, which receives more sunlight, resulting in thicker veins and vigorous flavor. Because Daytona relies exclusively on tobaccos from Jalapa, the profile is less intense and a touch creamier when compared to the bold and beefy flavor of other Cain cigars. Daytona is a solid medium-bodied gem.

The orange and gold band on Cain Daytona must be removed before you start smoking, because, like all Cain cigars, it’s placed on the foot. Daytona radiates with a woody perfume of saddle leather and cinnamon from its glistening caramel-hued, Cuban-seed wrapper leaf. The 550 Robusto exhibits excellent density as I gently press it from head to foot between my index finger and thumb.

With a swift, razor-sharp cut to the cap, the cold draw unleashes a promising profile of cocoa, hazelnuts, and pepper. After a few patient rotations over my sporty triple-jet torch, Cain Daytona is on fire. Buttery and chewy textures envelop the palate. Notes of cedar and old tobacco layer my taste buds while bracing spices arouse the nose. Cain’s peppery reputation is most apparent when I push the smoke into my nasal cavity. The ash is firm and a sure indication Cain is handcrafted to the same superlative standards as other award-winning Oliva cigars like Serie V and Serie V Melanio.

Because Cain cigars are regarded for their tenacious, palate-searing taste, the brand is a favorite among tough guys like bikers and lumberjacks. What’s surprising about Cain Daytona is how refined it is. The blend possesses ample hints of cayenne and wood, but it never abandons the luscious, nutty character it displays in the beginning. As the cigar progresses, savory flavors of baking spices, leather, and chestnuts culminate but stop short of plowing over the palate like you might expect.

After roughly 55 minutes, Cain Daytona in the 550 format finishes with an oily surge of leather and peppers. It gets the heart beating but you can still stand up. You should be able to taste your coffee in the morning, too. Consider Cain Daytona a stepping stone to stronger cigars in the brand’s lineup, including Cain F, Cain Habano, and Cain Maduro. Because Holt’s is the biggest purveyor of Cain in the entire solar system, no one can compete with the earth-shattering discounts we offer. Smoke a few singles before you splurge on a box, but know that Cain Daytona is a wise investment.

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